Child protection systems help governments and communities protect children from harm and neglect. With more than 152 million children doing work that puts their health, safety and development at risk, it is important for child protection systems to take these children’s needs into account. When child protection systems are set up to respond to the risk of child labour, they are better able to prevent, protect and respond to harm.
Child protection systems & child labour
The Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) outlines how governments and aduits must make sure that children can enjoy their specific rights. Not all work done by children is child labour. Child labour is specifically in violation of many rights outlined in the UNCRC. ECLT’s programmes aim to tackle the root causes of child labour by both promoting and protecting their rights.
Improving access to education, reducing poverty, health and safety training, improved nutrition are just some ways in which ECLT supports the realisation of children’s rights in agricultural communities. Effective child protection systems involve actors at every level, teachers, health professionals, police and local leaders all have a crucial role to play to protect children.
Supporting child protection in Uganda
In Uganda, 1 out of every 3 children are involved in child labour. In addition to supporting programmes to fight child labour in agriculture in the district of Hoima, ECLT worked with the Ugandan government to run a child protection training. Supporting government efforts to strengthen child protection systems improves sustainability and promotes the broad protection of children’s rights.
The training involved participants from the district government, social workers, community officials, the police and representatives from the private sector with the intention that the trainees will become trainers of relevant actors at the village level: teachers, health professionals and village leaders.
The workshop focused on the steps to be taken by child protection professionals if a case of child abuse occurred. The participants were taken through case management from the identification stage to assessment, the action to be taken, referral, and finally case monitoring and closure. At the end of the 2-day training one of the attendees, a school inspector shared: “I now see myself as an ambassador to talk to parents and teachers about child abuse and how to mitigate cases”